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The nucleic acid binding protein, Pur-alpha, is best characterized as a transcription factor with affinity to single stranded G/C rich regions. Pur-alpha exhibits developmental and tissue-specific regulation and plays a critical role in neuronal development and differentiation. Similar to Pur-alpha, the amyloid-beta protein precursor (AbetaPP) is a developmentally regulated protein which promotes neuronal survival. Both the human and mouse AbetaPP promoters contain multiple G/C rich sequences which regulate AbetaPP at the transcriptional and translational levels. Using an in vitro reporter assay, we confirmed that Pur-alpha consensus binding sites within the human AbetaPP promoter down-regulate AbetaPP transcription. Electrophoretic mobility shift and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays (ChIP) showed direct binding of Pur-alpha to the AbetaPP promoter. Down regulation of AbetaPP went beyond the transcriptional level as overexpression of Pur-alpha in glial and fibroblast cell lines decreased basal levels of AbetaPP while siRNA targeting Pur-alpha increased basal levels of AbetaPP. Similar findings were observed in brain tissue and fibroblasts from mice with targeted deletion of Pur-alpha. These data point to a novel mechanism of controlling AbetaPP levels by the transcriptional regulatory protein, Pur-alpha, and suggest that Pur-alpha may be involved in the dysregulation of AbetaPP in Alzheimer's disease.


Nune Darbinian, Jianqi Cui, Anna Basile, Luis Del Valle, Jessica Otte, Judith Miklossy, Bassel E Sawaya, Shohreh Amini, Kamel Khalili, Jennifer Gordon. Negative regulation of AbetaPP gene expression by pur-alpha. Journal of Alzheimer's disease : JAD. 2008 Sep;15(1):71-82

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PMID: 18780968

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